• Working Mom

    Date: 2013.04.21 | Category: Life, Me, Sarah, Work | Tags:

    This list could be really long, but I’ll keep it to a couple of things that have really gotten to me. I try not to respond to these things when I see them on social media, because my immediate response is inflammatory and I don’t want to permanently ruin any relationships. That being said, maybe people should think before they post.

    1. I have the utmost respect for stay at home moms. As I’ve posted here before, I’ve realized just from staying home with a sick kid for a week what a monumental tasks they face every day. That being said, I would really like it for the respect to go both ways. This week on Facebook I have seen the following: 1. A mom saying she doesn’t understand how working mothers can leave their children every day. And 2. Someone who posted a picture of the “ideal” family structure showing the father as the provider and bread winner with the mother sheltered comfortably under him with her only responsibilities being the children and home management. The comment that went with this photo was, “Every family would be happier if they followed this model.”

    Now, as I’ve said before, I have the utmost respect for families who do follow that model. But please do not assume we are an unhappier family because we do not. I take great pride in my job and my work and deep satisfaction in being about to financially support my family. I need creative work to keep me happy, and I need dedicated time at home with my child and my husband too. This does not make me a bad mother and we are a very happy family.

    2. I had a grown woman tell me today that having a 2 or 3 year old means that your life shuts down. She said that they are just so bad you can’t go anywhere with them anymore. Normally I would have just rolled my eyes and moved on, but this same woman had recently woken a baby I spent 20 minutes rocking to sleep. So, I turned to her and said, “I have a two-year-old and our life certainly does not stop. She has had to learn to roll with it, or pay the consequences if she refuses to. She needs to learn that she doesn’t get her way just by fussing about it.” The woman looked at me and said, “That’s because you only have one, I have two grandchildren I have to look after and we can’t go anywhere.” I left the room. Sometimes you just have to walk away.

    I realize that motherhood comes with a lot of advice and opinions, and I have been guilty of sometimes asserting mine where it doesn’t belong in the past. But what I’ve learned is that sometimes you have to take a step back, respect all mothers as long as they are raising a healthy kid and doing the best they can, and try not to assume you know what’s best for all families.

    Yes, being a working mother is tough sometimes. I get frustrated when daycare means several months of sickness and doctor visits, or when I have to make the decision that Sarah is “well enough” to go to daycare. But there are so many wonderful sides to it too. Sarah has been socialized so well by the other kids at school, she spends the day with her cousin Jacob, her teachers have all been amazing and seem to genuinely care about her and us as parents (as evidenced just this past week by their willingness to help us with the involved routine I created to kill her yeast infection). I am personally able to have a fulfilling, creative work life in a mission I love and care about, socialize with my adult co-workers, provide financially for our family, marvel when my daughter comes home from school counting to 10, and really enjoy those hours in the mornings and evenings, and especially weekends, when we  hang out with Sarah. So yes, it’s tough, but I’m proud to be a working mother and I’m proud that I just keep going with Sarah and show her what real life is all about.